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The following section contains subjective comments about the system that represent our editor's opinions, and should not be viewed as fact. Editor's opinions include positive and negative judgments about the product written in consideration of wider context, including related products and the industry at large.
The main benefit to the layout of SureChem is the use of sidebars (or panes), which allows users to modify or filter search queries and results without having to navigate back to the search form page. Another streamlined feature is the format of the highlighting system on the left portion of the record view pages. This allows users to skip through a document with keyword highlighting without requiring an additional pop up or full size window as some other search systems do.
The main hindrance to usability is the lack of single page full text or for-free PDF view. Many searchers are used to these features and may feel that combing through each reference is a hassle without having all of the information at his or her fingertips. The benefits to SureChem's tabbed view is a faster loading interface—which in the end may trump the convenience of a single page view.
Overall the system is easy to learn, from creating chemical structure queries in MarvinSketch, to keyword searching in the search forms, to viewing the results, but does not deliver a sophisticated system of managing and categorizing those results. This approach suggests that the tool to be used as a secondary tool that is especially helpful for doing chemical structure searches, but not feature complete enough to use alone for the purpose of managing a search.
Loading the MarvinSketch applet for the first time can take upwards of 20 seconds, but loading thereafter is much quicker. Queries do not seem to run exceptionally quickly or slowly.
The chemical structure data present in SureChem is invaluable, and allows users to structure or keyword search and find relevant documents through the controlled vocabulary parsing that occurs in SureChem’s backend. From this perspective, SureChem delivers to its chemical-structure curious target audience.